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Megatrends Reshaping Supply Chain Management Essay

It is true that competition is getting tougher and digital technologies are changing the industries faster and faster. Megatrends are changing everything and industries are changing according to them. But the question is why and how.

Therefore, in this essay, we will be discussing the topic of Megatrends Reshaping Supply Chain Management. The points we will be looking into are: What are megatrends and how they reshape supply chain management? The megatrends of supply chain management, Competition, mass personalization, AI & ML, big data, mobile and cloud computing, Internet of things, and more.

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What are megatrends and how they reshape supply chain management?

Megatrends are patterns, trends, movements,s or activities in the macro environment, that have a significant impact on the present and future. In simple words, megatrends are things or activities that are used or done by a very large amount of people around the world. This emergence of new trends forces the world to change according to them. These changes affect business, economy, society, cultures, and personal lives.

Moreover, Megatrends are not too physical and geopolitical limits. The future is also greatly affected by these changes as industries act according to these megatrends to be profitable. More megatrends are not always something that originates from people and affect industries, sometimes it is opposites too. Megatrends could be started by the industry or business.

The megatrends of Supply Chain Management

In this paragraph, we will be looking at the Megatrends of supply chain management or SCM.

We will discuss each one in detail while looking at how they are changing the Supply chain management.

Moving on, there are five megatrends we will be discussing in this sample essay. Which areas mentioned below:

  • Mass Personalization
  • Urbanization
  • Robotics & Automation
  • The Internet of Things
  • Big Data, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Mass Personalization

Personalization refers to the act of creating a product or service according to the demand of an individual customer. So automatically, Mass personalization means doing it on a large scale. Manufacturing automation technologies (also called additive manufacturing) are making it easier to create a larger variety of products and services. Techniques like 3D printing and automated printers are used.

As a result, the industry is shifting towards on-demand services as it is cheaper and requires less in-hand inventory.

Stock keeping units (SKUs) are increasing rapidly. When a company has growing stock-keeping units obtained through the traditional manufacturing process, the complexity of the supply chain increases. As we know the more complex a supply chain is harder it is to manage. This also affects profitability.

Therefore, on-demand services are also beneficial in this way, as it make supply chains simpler.

Urbanization

The challenges faced by last-mile logistics concerns not only e-commerce but also urbanization.

Since the industrial revolution, a large number of people are leaving the countryside and moving to larger cities. This exodus is known as Urbanization. The world’s urban population has increased six-times, since 1950. As of 2018 population was 4.2 billion.

Robotics & Automation

Robotics and automation refer to a variety of things. It could mean using automated vehicles for transportation or it could mean using robots in factories. Since the first robotic application was employed, the world has been looking towards this field with keen eyes.

Firstly, using robots remove the need for the human workforce to an extent, though fully automated factories exist too.

Secondly, robots make work easier as they have higher capacity and do not follow the concept of fatigue. Robots can work endlessly. Considering they are regularly maintained.

Moreover, robots can be bused at risky workplaces to avoid loss of human life. For robots are replaceable.

On the other hand, automated vehicles are still limited to small vehicles and transport vessels used inside warehouses and factories. This is because automation in vehicles is still in the development stage and is not ready to be used in public settings.

Nevertheless, this megatrend is largely sought after and used in large factories. Companies like Amazon have fully automated warehouses that require very less human interruption and hence a small human workforce.

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The Internet of Things

The internet of things or IoT concept is not new to us. It has been around for a long time now. But how can it benefit the supply chains?

Therefore, the idea is to connect as many as possible devices or instruments of the supply chain through the internet. Creating this network will also a rich flow of information and data. Using this data, management can obtain a real-time image of the whole supply chain. This will allow real-time problem-solving and optimization of the supply chain.

Moreover, this will create a simpler map of the supply chain and also add this previously invisible process to the image. It helps save time and the process will also require less effort.

As a result, more and more companies are using IoT applications in their supply chains and getting better results.

Big Data, Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are quite famous terms in this modern age.  Artificial Intelligence is seen as the future of the world and machine learning is a crucial part of it.

Nevertheless, in the domain of the supply chain; most activities concerning Artificial Intelligence are focused on Machine Learning or ML. The way these works is when a system (computer) receives the output, it determines the accuracy of the output and improves itself for better results based on the output.

So the more data there is the better machine learning is. This is where big data comes in. As simple as it is more data one feeds to the model or AI more it grows and smarter it becomes. These models are used for planning, designs and optimizing the supply chain to make maximum profit.

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Moreover, if you like this article related to management you can also read more on your website example being Category Management in Purchasing, Time-based Competition in Supply Chain, Just-In-Time (in Operation Management), Hazardous Management Plan, and Conflict Handling Intentions, and many more.

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